I keep forgetting to replace my old bar of soap when it gets down to being a little sliver of its formal self. This morning I cursed when I had to use the thin, wafer-like bar. The new bar of Dove was sitting on my sink counter, laughing at me. So, I slid it into my hand and then noticed wafer #1 and wafer #2 were also on the chrome slotted shelf hanging under my shower head. Those were older bars which I never bothered to throw away. I decided to make a soap sandwich and piled them on top of each other. That should do the trick.
I should have known that wouldn’t work. They slid off of my body and fell into the pool of water that rises every morning when I take a shower. Over time my lovely fallen hair clogs the drain and I wait until the water is ankle-high before I bother to use Draino on the obvious hairy clog. I had to play Marco Polo in order to find the wafers under the soapy water. One of these days I am going to slip in the shower and hit my head, which will render me unconscious, and I will drown, just because I don’t know the rules for shower safety. I should wear a life vest.
But, the bigger picture is not the thought of floating naked in a bathtub with soap wafers bumping into me until the paramedics find my body, but the thought of why I don’t keep an extra bar sitting on the chrome slotted shelf, waiting like a relief pitcher to be called into the game when the bar I have been using needs to retire.
I bet I am the only person who uses a baseball analogy for a bar of soap.
Anyway, as I was using the wafer, I thought of Grandma Orpha. She had a jar of soap slivers on a shelf in her bathroom above the towels. I thought maybe she was just a cheapskate. When I would stay overnight with them when I was young I was lucky I would get two inches of water when she ran water for my bath.
So, I wondered, “Are other people soap hoarders like some hoard toilet paper tubes? (My elementary school teacher friends can relate to that one).
Do people actually get creative with slivers of soap?”
I am not a frugal person, as I just toss the soap in the garbage when I get around to it. Maybe I should be frugal. I want to retire in four years, so maybe I should tighten my purse strings and learn how to “waste not want not.”
And so began my research.
I typed recycle soap into the Google search field and was sort of shocked with all the links to creative uses for old soap. There is no graveyard for soap slivers on these sites. I think of myself as a creative person, but would I go to these lengths just to use up a bar of soap?
Oh, hell no.
I’m lucky I make my bed in the morning or put the dishes in the dishwasher right away after dinner. I can’t imagine spending any time shaving soap slivers to use in another venue. But, I admired some of the creative ways people found for using soap slivers.
And I bet some of them were able to retire early. I admire their tenacity and I admire myself for admiring their tenacity.
1. Make a loofah- I’m not a loofah gal, but if you go down to your local dollar store and purchase a mesh bag, you are on your way to Loofah-ville. Place the slivers of soap in the mesh bag and use it in the shower to exfoliate your skin.
2. Create soap balls- Use a cheese grater on the little slivers (remember to wash it after using it or your provolone will taste a bit different) and then soak in warm water to make it easier to manipulate into little balls. It takes a few weeks to dry completely, but you will have pretty soap balls for your guests to use when they come visit you. They will be impressed with your creation and may even offer to buy you dinner the next time you meet out somewhere. (They may think you must be strapped for cash).
3. Liquid Soap- I really don’t want to use my blender for soap slivers. It was bad enough I would have to use a cheese grater on the other idea. But, get about 6 slivers of soap, put them in a blender (ew) with a little water, and blend for about 25 seconds until you have the creamy texture you deserve. Voila! Liquid soap. Just fill, using one of the 3 almost empty liquid soap bottles sitting under the sink in the bathroom cabinet. (I don’t save them, but you know there are people who do).
4. Fresh as a Daisy- If you are one of those people who store out-of -seasons clothing and wish you could prevent that awful musty smell from permeating your clothes, stick a sliver of soap in with your clothes. You won’t smell musty, but you will smell like you washed with soap and forgot to rinse off.
5. Soap on a rope- This is awesome because it brings together old pantyhose with a run in it and slivers of soap. This is a marriage made in heaven. Cut off the panty hose and place the soap down in the toe of the pantyhose and just tie a knot and you have yourself soap on a rope. I can’t imagine getting in the shower and finding one leg of pantyhose with soap slivers hanging out in toe area. It would just depress me, knowing that I must be poor to be doing this.
6. Make a beautiful sachet- Make a sachet by wrapping a soap sliver in a used fabric softener sheet (See how they never throw anything away?) Tie the top with a pretty ribbon, and place it anywhere you want a soapy scent, such as your car, or beside the kitty litter box. (That one was my idea. Yeah, put it by the cat litter box or in a kid’s stinky tennis shoe (when they aren’t wearing them, of course).
7. Put it in your toilet tank- Now, I would try this one to see if it would work. This is supposed to keep your toilet bowl clean. I’m thinking slivers of Irish Spring soap would be awesome to use. Well, awesome makes it sound like I’m eager and chipper about this possibility. I’m not. But, I will try this.
Here are some links for those of you who would like to find a better home for your thin wafer-like soap urchins.
How to make a new bar of soap from old bars of soap. This is actually pretty good.
Howcast: Make a new bar of soap from soap slivers– They add oatmeal and some lemon in this recipe. Do I want to wash my face with oatmeal? Maybe.
And here is a message board where other soap aficoanados go to discuss their thrifty fun uses for soap slivers.
Here are my ideas for using soap slivers:
1. Practice your whittling. (Notice my whittling knife in the background) This actually helps the earth by not whittling on tree branches. I think. And your hands will smell nice and you won’t get any slivers in your hand….you know, the real kind of wood slivers. I hate when that happens.
2. Shower with a friend. I realize this is the same soap sliver from above, but I didn’t want to wasteful. :)
3. Photography- Slivers of soap make for a pretty picture. I could enter this in a photo contest. I am sure no one else would think of this.
In the end, I have spent too much time researching soap slivers.
I’m not going to change. I’m going to leave the little fellows up on the chrome shelf until they get so thin they will either fall through the slots into the bathtub, or I actually pick them up and put them in the trash.
Or in a jar.